Year III: 12 Days of Christmas

Friday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Today is the Twelfth Day of Christmas, the traditional twelve day festival that begins on Christmas Day and runs until January 5th.  During this time we concentrate our readings on Jesus’ early life.   This leads us to January 6th, which is the Feast of the Epiphany, where we celebrate Christ’s revelation to the world as Messiah, predominantly in the events leading up to and immediately after his baptism.  The afternoon readings at this time continue our chronological tour through the scriptures; whilst the readings at Compline continue to work their way through Paul’s letter to the Romans.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All: 
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 24 (Domini est terra)

All: 

The King of Glory and His Kingdom
A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
The world and all who live upon it.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face.  Selah

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.  

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 147

Praise to God for His Word and Providence

Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name.
Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.
The Lord lifts up the humble;
He casts the wicked down to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
Sing praises on the harp to our God,
Who covers the heavens with clouds,
Who prepares rain for the earth,
Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.
He gives to the beast its food,
And to the young ravens that cry.

He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy.

Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
For He has strengthened the bars of your gates;
He has blessed your children within you.
He makes peace in your borders,
And fills you with the finest wheat.

He sends out His command to the earth;
His word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
He scatters the frost like ashes;
He casts out His hail like morsels;
Who can stand before His cold?
He sends out His word and melts them;
He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.

He declares His word to Jacob,
His statutes and His judgments to Israel.
He has not dealt thus with any nation;
And as for His judgments, they have not known them.

Praise the Lord!

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP

All:  
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Mighty Lord, we give you praise for bringing us to the end of another week.  We thank you for your unfailing love and everlasting mercy.  Come and flood our hearts this morning…
              –  For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…
  • Chase the shadows of night away and fill us afresh with hope as we contemplate your goodness…
              –   For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…
  • Grant us wisdom for the day, strength in your service and holiness in our lives…
             –  For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, protect and shelter our families and loved ones.  May our sons grow to be mighty oaks and may our daughters become beautiful pillars in the House of our God.
              –  For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…
  • Open the eyes of those who resist your call and avoid your presence.  Make us effective to reach them, O God and send your Word…
              –  For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…
  • For the babies in our church, and those in the very early years.  May they be kept in health and protected by your power…
              –  For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…
  • For those who near their home-call and will soon join the Church Triumphant.  May they be granted a glorious welcome into your Kingdom…
              –  For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we bring before you your Church.  Fill her with your power and strengthen her with your might.  May her pilgrimage be pregnant with purpose and her face always set towards the cross and the glory of God…
              –  For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…
  • For those who work in children’s departments.  May they recognise the value of their work and be anointed to speak with great authority…
              –  For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…
  • For those who work in pastoral ministries, tending the flock and ministering grace to the bruised and broken…
              –  For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…
  • For the work of evangelists everywhere, who never cease to spread abroad the wonders of your love…
              –  For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…

The World

  • Ever-living God, you called your body to be an ever-present prophetic witness to the world, both in words and in actions.  May this new season renew that call and may the righteousness that exalts a nation be known in our land once again…
              –  For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…
  • For those in prison and your people who work with them.  Bring salvation hope and a fresh start…
              –  For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…
  • For our Queen and Royal family.  May she defend your cause, be protected from her enemies and know your peace.
              –  For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…


THE LORD’S
 PRAYER

Reader: 
And so we pray…

All:   
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.  Amen.


GOSPEL READING

Matthew 3:13-17

The Baptism of Jesus

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptised by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptised, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of the Gentle Footprint.

Conscious that the human race is fast destroying the natural habitat we all rely on for survival, I choose to live in such a way that reduces the suffering of all living creatures, healing and preserving our precious planet. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I will guard the creation entrusted to us, and consume in such a way that is mindful, ethical and sustainable.

All:
This is The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of the Gentle Footprint.


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:  
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.  Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of
your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our
hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our
Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Amen.


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may God the Holy Spirit make us steadfast in faith, joyful in hope and
constant in love.
Amen.

Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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